Is Your Dishwasher Not Drying Dishes?

It turns out drying your plates could in actual fact be harder for your dishwasher than getting them clean. Crockery and cutlery and glassware have lots of crevices that can pool dishwater stopping it from evaporating, plus as your machine cools water condenses out of the humid air.

Dishwashers also employ a number of different approaches to dry your dishes. Some will have a heating coil to heat up the inside of the machine and assist the water to evaporate, some heat the water further nearing the end of the cycle, others employ a fan, and some use a mix of all of these. There are thus a variety of reasons why your dishwasher may not be drying dishes optimally and a number of options to improve the situation.

Plastic is more difficult to dry than glass or ceramics as it doesn’t retain heat in the same way which helps with the drying process, so it’s worth seeing whether the drying issue is related to the material rather than the machine.

If your dishwasher isn’t drying effectively you can call a dishwasher repair service or first make use of this troubleshooting list to help you identify and rectify the issue.

Top Explanations Your Dishwasher Isn’t Drying Dishes

Few things are more irritating than a home appliance that isn’t working properly, regardless of whether its a tv, washing machine or dishwasher we expect them to do the job they were made for. If you open the dishwasher to wet plates there are a few troubleshooting tips to help you figure out the issue.

Not all dishwashers are created equal and some appliances do a better job of drying your dishes than others. But if you notice a change in how well your machine is working one of these areas could be the problem.

Have a Look at the Placement of Your Plates

Sometimes there is nothing actually wrong with the appliance. Before assuming the dishwasher is not working you should look at how it has been stacked, ensuring it isn’t too full. Also be aware that plastic items don’t dry as well as metal, glass or ceramics.

Inspect The Rinse Aid Dispenser

Rinse aid plays a key role in drying your crockery and cutlery therefore, if you have run out of rinse aid or the rinse aid dispenser is not working this can mean wet plates at the end of the cycle.

Visually inspect the dispenser for cracks and ensure that there is rinse aid inside.

Check The Heating Element

Heat is essential for drying your dishes so a broken heating element could be the explanation your machine is not working as it should. If your dishes aren’t hot when they come out of the machine this can indicate that the heating coil isn’t working as it should.

To inspect the heating coil you will need to unplug the machine, locate the heating element, you may need the manual for this, then check for continuity using a multimeter.

Inspect the Thermostat

The thermostat stops your dishwasher overheating, regulating the heat of the water and air during drying. Therefore, if it’s broken this can result in your dishwasher not reaching a high enough temperature.

If you check the heating coil and do not uncover an issue but your machine isn’t getting hot, then the thermostat could be the problem. Once again you can test this with the help of a multimeter.

Inspect The Drying Fan and Vent

Many dishwashers will employ a drying fan and vent to suck moist air from the appliance. If either of these elements are broken then the water vapor will remain in the appliance preventing the dishes from drying.

You can employ your instruction manual to check if your appliance uses a fan and locate it. Again you need to make sure the machine is disconnected before trying to access the fan.

You can visually inspect the fan and vent to see if anything is blocking it that might prevent it from functioning correctly. If there is nothing obvious you can then test for continuity using a multimeter.

Ways to Boost Drying Capability

There are a variety of methods you can use to improve your appliances effectiveness at drying and prevent you needing to dry them by hand as little as possible.

  1. Allow sufficient space between crockery and cutlery. Overcrowding the machine stops the circulation of both water and air decreasing the effectiveness of your appliance when it comes to both washing and finishing your dishes. It might be tempting to stuff everything in but your appliance will be more effective if you leave sufficient space so that water and air can circulate freely.
  2. Use rinse aid. Some dishwasher tablets already have this but even so, adding a separate rinse aid to the dishwasher will do no harm. Rinse aid works by breaking the bond between water molecules and your plates, helping water run off quickly, speeding up drying time and giving a spot and streak free finish.
  3. Open your machine as soon as the cycle has ended. Some new machines do this automatically, but many do not, thus, opening the dishwasher at the end of the program allows warm air to evaporate thus preventing water condensing on the contents as the machine cools down.
  4. Check if your appliance uses a heat feature and make use of it. Setting a higher temperature will result in better drying times and it could be possible to choose which points in the cycle you add more heat.
  5. Think about how you unload your machine. This is simply because cups and glasses that are upside down on the top shelf often have a concave bottom where water can pool. Emptying the bottom rack first stops you spilling this water onto the crockery and cutlery below.

If you have checked all the above it could be a good idea to phone an engineer or perhaps replace your dishwasher.

More Dishwasher Problems:

  • Dishwasher Being Loud
  • Dishwasher Not Turning On
  • Dishwasher Not Draining
  • Dishwasher Leaking
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